Reflections on the intersection of economics, history, politics, psychology and science

A discussion of the role of the local elected representative, the nature of political leadership particularly in a group setting, the traps that electeds fall into, and what we have learned from being local officials.

This conversation is about many of the lessons that Mark and Seth learned about being locally elected officials. The very nature of representative democracy shapes the dynamics of any elected official or elected body of representatives, but local governance teams – such as City Councils or School Boards – have some specific challenges and opportunities.

The hosts discuss a number of issues like:

  • To whom does a representative owe his/her duties?
  • How does one balance being an individually elected representative with governing only as part of a group?
  • The expertise that electeds need (or don’t need) and the various approaches to fulfilling their role
  • Traps into which elected representatives fall
  • The role of public input in the governing process
  • Recommendations for citizens on optimizing their participation and getting better local public leadership
  • Lessons on being an effective local leader

Key Terms Used

Consensus Bias, Direct Democracy, Participation Bias, Reductionism, Representative Democracy, Selection Bias

Lessons from School Board Service